I sent my letter off last Tuesday week, recorded delivery. I also emailed my MP with the letter and a link to this blog to pass on to Iain Duncan Smith. I was told that it might take two or three days for the letter to get there, so I thought that I would give them until the end of the week to contact me. As each day went on, my blood pressure rose more and more. By Friday, I was starting to steam a bit.
I heard back very quickly from my MP’s secretary, telling me that he would look into it and ask the benefits people what they are playing at.
On Monday, a letter arrived through the post. Yippee, I thought...FINALLY. I opened it as quickly as I could, all excited I was, and blow me bloody well down, all it was, was the decision makers decision on what I have earnt. The same figures I had sent them on 11th October! So I STILL didn’t know what we were entitled to!
Well, by this point, I was boiling with fury.
I rang at 2.45 and asked the person if they could give me any idea what was going on with our claim. “Oh yes” She said “The decision makers have made the decision”..”Yes” I said, “They made that a couple of weeks ago. I have the letter here telling me about their decision. Could you tell me what our entitlement is please” “Erm” she said “It says on my computer £106.95”
“£106.95.........” I said. I could not believe that I am going through all this for a measly seven pounds!
Flamin ‘eck,I cant be bothered with all these speech marks and mucking around so I will just tell you what happened. She didn’t really seem to know what was happening or where or who had our claim and couldn’t answer why we had not had a letter of entitlement telling us that we were entitled to £106.95.
I told her that we should be in the income related bit and that we were being stopped from claiming the interest payments on our mortgage because they are so slow and nothing is being done. I asked for yet another call back. She told me that it would happen either today or the first 45 minutes of Tuesday morning.
I knew that there would be no call back that day and sure enough, the next morning, I got my call back.
You are going to love this next bit.....
My call back was from the lady in the mortgage department!...what can I say!....it’s like dealing with fecking numpties from numptydom. I should never have confused the poor girl the day before by mentioning mortgage payments although the most hysterical part was that she seemed to understand my problem because she said she would send me a form to fill out to get the payments. All I wanted, was to speak to someone about the ES goddamn A!
The poor mortgage woman was completely confused when I started going on about ESA and my letter and decision makers. When we realised that she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and that it wasn’t her department that I wanted to speak to, she told me that she would request an hour call back from a line manager in the ESA department.
Having had four months of this rubbish, I decided to ring myslef and ask for an hour call back to, just to make sure I got one.
Well, the woman who answered the phone to me this time, tried to tell me that I couldn’t have an hour call back and that I have to have a three hour call back. I can only have an hour call back if I didn’t get a three hour call back. Well, by this time, I was actually starting to spit as I spoke through gritted teeth, while explaining to her that I may have had a three hour call back, but it wasn’t from the right fecking department Goddamn it. I wanted to speak to the line manager in the ESA department within an hour...please.
“I will send them through an email” She said.
I don’t need to tell you that I didn’t get my call back cos you have probably already guessed.
I was incandescent with rage and went off to dish up the children’s school lunches. I tried my very best not to splat the food on their plates making it look like a cow had crapped everywhere and slamming cutlery down on the tables....I did very well under the circumstances!
While I was in the kitchen, taking my anger out on the plates and cutlery while I was washing up, Ady rang me.
“Hello Em, I have just had a call from a nice lady from the government. Something to do with Cleggs lot I think, I dunno though but she seems really nice. She is going to call you this afternoon”
“Oh fucking well IS she” I said, “Well, I won’t be holding my breath, I’ve been hearing this shit for months”
“Well” he said “She is really nice and she has read your letter and has been looking through everything over the last 24 hours. I have had a nice chat with her for about 20 minutes to half an hour”
He told me that he went on at her about his cancers and how he didn’t want the cancers and didn’t want to be in this position and that if he could work then he would. He has been brought up to work and has never needed benefits before, he has always worked. He told her how the whole benefits thing has got him down and that he is trying to deal with his cancer and that he doesn’t ‘do’ dealing with paperwork and forms and that I am dealing with all that side of things. “The wife is my rock and this is really stressing her. If she is stressed, then I can’t cope” he said.
“I bet you bored her silly” I said back to him.
So, I finished the washing up and stomped off home. I made myself a coffee and rolled me some fags, sat at the dining room table, with folded arms and a tapping foot, waiting for the phone to ring...
We are Emma, Ady, Charlotte and Stephanie and we live at